BATAVIA, Ill. (CBS) — Police and school officials in west suburban Batavia were investigating a sexting scandal at a local middle school.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports investigators were looking into reports as many as two dozen or more Rotolo Middle School students, ages 11 to 14, took naked pictures of themselves.
“Some inappropriate nude images were sent via social media,” Batavia Police Det. Kevin Bretz said. “I think it’s shocking. I think it’s improper. However, with social media, the way cell phones are, the way technology has come about and improved and just jumped off in the last 10-12 years, a lot of these kids are very savvy with the electronic devices, and can figure things out.”
It’s unclear if anyone would face criminal charges, but Batavia Public School District 101 Supt. Lisa Hichens said students could face severe disciplinary action, but the district is waiting for the results of the police investigation before handing down any punishment.
Hichens said this kind of sexting scandal has become more common for schools with the continuing growth of social media.
“With students being so connected … they’re connected differently than we were in middle school, and it’s so important that we partner with our parents,” she said. “Hopefully parents are listening, and they take this as an opportunity to talk to their kids about Internet safety, and the permanence of things that they post on the Internet.”
Bretz said parents need to be more aggressive about monitoring what their children do on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
“Find out what sites they might have, or what apps they might have on their iPhones or their Galaxies, or Facebook, or anything like that. Talk to your children. See what’s going on there,” he said. “You have every right to know what your young child is doing. You probably pay the bill for the phone and the computer.”
This is at least the third time this month a suburban middle school has opened an investigation into sexting.
Earlier this month, Barrington Middle School and Hadley Middle School in Homer Glen also investigated incidents of sexting among students.